On Thursday the ISRFC Lambs U18 squad will travel to Canada on their 2017 Tour.
The squad will from Gatwick, arriving in Vancouver on Thursday afternoon. From there it is a tightly packed schedule, with training sessions, excursions, a few revision sessions, which ought to keep parents happy given that A Levels are on the horizon, and even a curling lesson.
The first matchday of the tour is on Sunday 2nd April, and it is one of the biggest in the Lambs’ history, against Canada U18. The same Canada U18 group that will travel to Wales shortly after to compete in the U18 International Series against England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, and the hosts, Wales.
That will be an incredibly tough game, the biggest in any of these players’ lives, but it will be a wonderful experience, no matter what the outcome is.
It will be their first game for a fair while after their most recent scheduled game, v Saracens, was abandoned due to a gas leak, however the players have all been keeping sharp given their involvement in big school events including the Rosslyn Park HSBC National School 7s and the NatWest School Cup semi final and final days.
From the game against Canada it is a quick turnaround and a trip to Seattle, which will include going up to the viewing platform at the famous Space Needle.
Day Two in Seattle, Tuesday 4th April, brings the Lambs’ second game of the tour, against a Pacific Loggers XV.
With the Seattle portion of the tour over, it’s a quick hop back to Canada and Vancouver for a spot of go karting ahead of the third game of the tour, against Western Washington University U19s on Thursday 6th April.
From there the party moves on again, this time to Victoria, where whale watching will be one of the highlights ahead of the final game of the tour on Sunday 9th April, against a British Columbia Select XV, a game that is sure to be a real test. The team then departs from the UK shortly before midnight on Monday 10th.
For those on the outside it looks like a fantastic tour, and those travelling will surely have a superb time. The rugby, meanwhile, looks like it could well be one of the most competitive groups of fixtures the Lambs have faced on tour, with that Canada fixture sure to be an incredible occasion, as Lambs’ National Director Alex Laybourne said:
“This will be a fantastic tour for the boys, and to be playing Canada U18s first up is a superb way to start. We have played some very good rugby so far this season, with the boys quickly embracing and executing the ‘Fast and Free’ philosophy, and with the squad of 28 we have travelling I am confident we will have a successful tour.”
Given their performances up to this point, there is no doubting that at the very least the Lambs will be incredibly competitive and will play some truly exciting stuff, their commitment to drive that ‘fast and free’ philosophy from within the leadership group has been excellent, making them a joy to watch.
The squad itself is made up of 28 players, seventeen forwards and eleven backs, and will be led by Berkhamsted number 8, Matt Harris.
Twenty-two schools are represented in the squad, with Royal Hospital School the most represented with three players, Francouis Roussow, Cedric Hoskyns-Abrahall, and Tobias Allday. Hymers College have two players involved, Oscar Hardman and Guy Whittaker, with King’s College Taunton also having two, Charlie Agbo and Tom Pittman.
Denstone College bring two players to the party, Tommie Collingwood and Joshua Hart, as do MIllfield with Ben Mallett and Tom Wood. Bishop’s Stortford college, Trinity, Taunton, Pangbourne College, Kirkham Grammar School, Felsted, Wycliffe College, Wellingborough, Trent College, Portsmouth Grammar School, Stamford, Uppingham, Sherborne, Queen Ethelburga’s, Cheltenham College, and Kent College each have one, alongside Berkhamsted’s representative, Harris.
It looks an exciting squad, and win, lose, or draw, they will have a superb tour on and off the field.
|ISRFC Lambs U18 Canada Touring Squad|
|Didi Vidal-Adegun||Bishop’s Stortford College|
|Thomas Petty||Trinity School|
|Will Bird||Taunton School|
|Alexander Zenda||Pangbourne College|
|Oscar Hardman||Hymers College|
|Matthew Gallagher||Kirkham Grammar School|
|Charlie Agbo||King’s College, Taunton|
|Tommie Collingwood||Denstone College|
|George Hartson||Wycliffe College|
|Matt Harris (captain)||Berkhamsted|
|Guy Whittaker||Hymers College|
|Francouis Roussow||Royal Hospital School|
|Cedric Hoskyns-Abrahall||Royal Hospital School|
|Sam Howell||Wellingborough School|
|Tobias Allday||Royal Hospital School|
|Tom Pittman||King’s College, Taunton|
|George Finney||Trent College|
|Joshua Hart||Denstone College|
|Eddie Jenkinson||Portsmouth Grammar School|
|Milo Linney||Uppingham School|
|Henry Wright||Queen Ethelburga’s|
|Jamie Thorley||Cheltenham College|
|Daniel Marsik||Kent College, Canterbruy|